August 12, 2011

Ill wind blowing at council

Farren Hotham, Wellington Times, 12 August 2011

When Infigen Energy’s Frank Boland appeared before Wellington council he might have thought a major project for the area which would employ people and help business, including local contractors, be ‘the shot in the arm’ the area needed but a proposed windfarm for Bodangora didn’t quite get the positive response he first thought.

“It’s a pox on the environment,” Councillors Mark Griggs and Kevin Mason said launching a tirade.

“We are totally against this,” they declared.

The project manager had just explained the benefits of the proposed windfarm, including a community fund to inject much-needed money into the area and the support of a number of landholders he had spoken to about the project.

“Given the positive reaction we have had from landholders, the project would begin in late 2012 and be in operation by 2013,” Mr Boland said.

“Thirty to 40 wind turbines would rise near Wellington and construction would take 12 months,” he added.

But Cr Mason took Infigen Energy’s project boss to task.

“There are landholders jumping up and down about this,” he said doubting the windfarm’s efficiency and also stating it was more costly than other technologies.

Mr Boland said if landholders had a problem he would be happy to meet with them on a one-on-one basis.

Community engagement and consultancy meetings will be held later this month.

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